A Campbell River pilot and his passenger from Prince Albert, Sask. have both died after last week’s helicopter crash near Paynton, Sask., approximately 200 km northwest of Saskatoon.
The initial investigation determined the two men were contracted by SaskPower to do work in the area, and were using the helicopter to access the power lines, which was later confirmed by SaskPower, but no other details of the work being done were made available.
The pilot has since been identified as 55-year-old Steven Wilson.
Mayor Andy Adams told the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix the incident, “is a devastating loss for the immediate family and I do know there a lot of people rallying around them at this particular point,” adding the family is well-known and very active in the community, “and there will be an impact.”
The helicopter was an MD 500D owned by Oceanview Helicopters, based out of Powell River, who issued a statement after the crash, saying, “We are saddened to confirm that one of our helicopters was involved in an accident yesterday afternoon (Thursday, Oct. 22), and that the pilot and one passenger suffered fatal injuries at the scene. We have been in contact with the pilot’s family and are in communication with the passenger’s employer, who is our client. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both gentlemen.”
They confirmed that the helicopter was being used for, “complex and highly specialized work at the time of the incident,” but that they will not speculate at this early stage in the investigation about what happened to cause the fatal crash.
They say they are cooperating fully with the ongoing Transportation Safety Board of Canada and Transport Canada investigations.